How To Use CBD To Treat Anxiety
Almost 20% of the adult population in the United States has experienced an anxiety disorder in any given year. That statistic doesn’t include the everyday anxiety that a lot of people feel on an ongoing basis. Day to day anxious feelings include feeling worried about how something will turn out or nervous to go somewhere new where you assume will be alone and no one will talk to you or something embarrassing could happen. Makes me anxious already.
Why Do We Get Anxiety?
A little anxiety isn’t so bad. It can motivate us to get a project done or make a tough phone call. It is the everyday worry about paying bills or fear of something that is actually scary or dangerous. Anxiety and fear are adaptive. They are programed in our brains and bodies to keep us safe from threats. But when the everyday worries turn into constant stress, avoidance, fear in situations that aren’t dangerous, etc. that anxiety takes on a life of its own. When anxiety is uncontrollable it can derail your life. At the point of unmanageable, or hopefully before, we should start to look for ways to relieve our anxiety.
There is a lot of talk about anxiety- low level and clinically significant. This is because there are lots of different types of anxiety and anxiety related mental health symptoms. Let’s break a few down. Generalized anxiety disorder consists of many things but is it the overall inability to control one’s worry and fear when there isn’t an apparent reason to worry or anticipate things will go badly. Panic disorder is characterized by attacks of fear and losing control when there is no real danger and can last for several minutes or longer. They are panic attacks and can be extremely challenging to navigate. Social anxiety disorder is when a person feels nervous, anxious, or fearful in all or certain social situations. Social anxiety does a great job of making a person feel humiliated, judged, or rejected.
Those are diagnosable disorders, and there are more. But with most things there is a spectrum. The so called “low level” anxiety can still seriously impact our daily lives. For a lot of us who have anxiety, the symptoms can be really difficult to overcome. They can mean we don’t leave the house, or we can’t concentrate at work or school. A lot of us will go to extremes to avoid places, people, and things that trigger our anxiety. This seems, and is, rather debilitating. Since it is so negatively impactful, we will seek ways to rid ourselves of our anxious feelings and find relaxation in a busy, stressful world. Experiencing anxiety does not mean you have to simply deal with it and have no relieve.
CBD As An Anti-Anxiety Solution
Some of us have already found solutions that can provide relief from the negative effects of anxiety. CBD is one of those solutions. It is a natural tool that’s bringing relaxation and anxiety relief to countless people. CBD might just be tailor made to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
It’s important to back up just a bit to discuss what CBD actually is and how it can benefit you. CBD is a cannabinoid that is found in hemp and cannabis plants. While these plants are cousins, the CBD from hemp can have around .03% to .00% of THC in it. Our CBD has 0% THC in it. Some early research has revealed that CBD actually binds to some pretty important receptors in the brain.
How CBD Works Against Anxiety
The main finding among researchers is that CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the nervous system. The expanded thought regarding this mechanism is that CBD ultimately alters serotonin signals in the brain to provide a “boost.” Low levels of serotonin are commonly associated with depression, anxiety and poor mental health. In fact, serotonin plays such a prime role in mental health that doctors conventionally prescribe a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to treat low serotonin. People who don’t wish to take prescription medications are feeling encouraged by the promising research regarding CBD and anxiety relief. The bump up in serotonin will give you an overall feeling of relief and calm which lowers your physical anxiety. That physical calm will create mental space for the brain to relax and let go of fear.
What Do The Studies Show?
Quite a bit of research has been done already regarding CBD’s impact on anxiety. We can expect a lot more research to come out now that CBD is being consumed on a more mainstream basis. What are the studies revealing so far? One study from 2010 really helps to highlight the positive impact that CBD has on brain function for people living with anxiety. Researchers used brain scans to study the effects of cannabidiol when administered to people with social anxiety. What the scans revealed was that changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain that are linked with anxiety could actually be observed as they occurred. This meant that researchers were actually seeing real-time changes regarding the way the brain responds to anxiety triggers. In addition, the participants who underwent the scans reported feeling a decrease in anxiety after using CBD.
Another study that focused on the impact of cannabidiol on anxiety found that taking cannabidiol was actually effective for reducing social anxiety in situations where participants had to engage in public speaking. What about long-term anxiety? A comprehensive study from 2015 concluded that there was evidence to support the claim that CBD could be an effective treatment for a wide range of anxiety-linked disorders that included generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
There is a positive link between the use of CBD and the decrease in feelings and symptoms of anxiety. Many people are discovering that CBD holds the key to anxiety relief, without the need for the use of prescription drugs. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 14 percent of Americans say they use CBD products. What’s more, 20 percent of those polled who use CBD products do so for anxiety relief. CBD is becoming ubiquitous with anxiety relief. CBD helps you get to a calmed relaxed state, so you release anxious feelings and face the day.